Page images
PDF
EPUB

The bud inserted in the rind,

The bud of peach or rose,
Adorns, though differing in its kind,

The stock whereon it grows
With flower as sweet or fruit as fair
As if produced by nature there.
Not rich, I render what I may;

I seize thy name in haste,
And place it in this first assay,

Lest this should prove the last.
'Tis where it should be, in a plan
That holds in view the good of man.
The poet's lyre, to fix his fame,

Should be the poet's heart;
Affection lights a brighter flame

Than ever blazed by art.
No muses on these lines attend,
I sink the poet in the friend.

THE DISTRESSED TRAVELLERS;

OR,
LABOUR IN VAIN.

AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG, TO A TUNE NEVER SUNG BEFORE.

1 I sing of a journey to Clifton,

We would have perform'd if we could,
Without cart or barrow to lift on
Poor Mary and me through the mud :

Šlee sla slud,

Stuck in the mud, Oh it is pretty to wade through a flood ! 2 So away we went slipping and sliding,

Hop, hop, à la mode de deux frogs. ’T is near as good walking as riding, When ladies are dress'd in their clogs.

Wheels, no doubt,

Go briskly about, But they clatter and rattle, and make such a rout!

SHE.

3 Well! now I protest it is charming;

How finely the weather improves !
That cloud, though, is rather alarming;
How slowly and stately it moves !

HE.
Pshaw! never mind;

'T is not in the wind ; We are travelling south, and shall leave it behind.

SHE.

4 I am glad we are come for an airing,

For folks may be pounded and penn'd, Until they grow rusty, not caring

To stir half a mile to an end.

HE.

The longer we stay,

The longer we may ;
It's a folly to think about weather or way.

SHE.

5 But now I begin to be frighted :

If I fall, what a way I should roll !
I am glad that the bridge was indicted.-
Stop ! stop! I am sunk in a hole!

HE.
Nay, never care !

'Tis a common affair ;
You'll not be the last that will set a foot there.

SHE.

6 Let me breathe now a little, and ponder

On what it were better to do.
That terrible lane, I see yonder,
I think we shall never get through!

HE.
So think I;

But, by the bye,
We never shall know, if we never should try.

SHE. 7 But should we get there, how shall we get home ?

What a terrible deal of bad road we have past, Slipping and sliding; and if we should come To a difficult stile, I am ruin'd at last.

Oh this lane !

Now it is plain
That struggling and striving is labour in vain.

HE.

8 Stick fast there, while I go and look.

SHE.

Don't go away, for fear I should fall!

HE.

I have examined it every nook,
And what you have here is a sample of all.

Come, wheel round;

The dirt we have found
Would be an estate at a farthing a pound.
9 Now, Sister Anne, the guitar you must take;

Set it, and sing it, and make it a song.
I have varied the verse for variety sake,
And cut it off short, because it was long.

'Tis hobbling and lame,

Which critics won't blame, For the sense and the sound, they say, should be

the same.

A TALE,

FOUNDED ON A FACT, WHICH HAPPENED IN JANUARY, 1779.

WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream, There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blas

pheme. In subterraneous caves his life he led, Black as the mine, in which he wrought for bread. When on a day, emerging from the deep, A sabbath-day, (such sabbaths thousands keep !)

The wages of his weekly toil he bore
To buy a cock—whose blood might win him more ;
As if the noblest of the feather'd kind
Were but for battle and for death design'd ;
As if the consecrated hours were meant
For sport, to minds on cruelty intent.
It chanced, (such chances Providence obey,)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed,
But now the savage temper was reclaim'd.
Persuasion on his lips had taken place;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.
His iron heart with Scripture he assail'd,
Woo'd him to hear a sermon, and prevail'd.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew,
Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wonder'd he should feel:
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal.

Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies !
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
The holy day was wash'd with many a tear,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear.
The next his swarthy brethren of the mine
Learn’d by his alter'd speech, the change divine,
Laugh'd when they should have wept, and swore

the day Was nigh when he would swear as fast as they.

No,” said the penitent: “such words shall share This breath no more ; devoted now to prayer. 0! if thou seest, (thine eye the future sees,) That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these, Now strike me to the ground, on which I kneel, Ere yet this heart relapses into steel; Now take me to that Heaven I once defied, Thy presence, thy embrace !”—He spoke and died !

TO THE REV. MR. NEWTON,

ON HIS RETURN FROM RAMSGATE.

OCT. 1780.

That ocean you have late survey'd,

Those rocks I too have seen ;
But I, afflicted and dismay'd,

You tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep

Saw stretch'd before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,

No longer such to you.
To me, the waves that ceaseless broke

Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke

Of all my treasure lost.
Your sea of troubles you have past,

And found the peaceful shore;
I, tempest-toss'd, and wreck'd at last,

Come home to port no more.

LOVE ABUSED.

What is there in the vale of life
Half so delightful as a wife,
When friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage bond divine ?
The stream of pure and genuine love
Derives its current from above;
And earth a second Eden shows,
Where'er the healing water flows :
But ah, if from the dikes and drains
Of sensual nature's feverish veins,
Lust, like a lawless headstrong flood,
Impregnated with ooze and mud,
Descending fast on every side
Once mingles with the sacred tide,
Farewell the soul-enlivening scene !
The banks that wore a smiling green,

« PreviousContinue »